Article Text

Injuries in judo: a systematic literature review including suggestions for prevention
  1. Elena Pocecco1,
  2. Gerhard Ruedl1,
  3. Nemanja Stankovic2,
  4. Stanislaw Sterkowicz3,
  5. Fabricio Boscolo Del Vecchio4,5,
  6. Carlos Gutiérrez-García6,
  7. Romain Rousseau7,8,
  8. Mirjam Wolf1,
  9. Martin Kopp1,
  10. Bianca Miarka5,
  11. Verena Menz1,
  12. Philipp Krüsmann1,
  13. Michel Calmet9,
  14. Nikolaos Malliaropoulos10,11,
  15. Martin Burtscher1
  1. 1Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia
  3. 3Combat Sports Unit, Department of Theory of Sport and Kinesiology, Institute of Sport, University School of Physical Education, Cracow, Poland
  4. 4Sports Training and Physical Performance Research Group, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil
  5. 5Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, Sport Department, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  6. 6Department of Physical and Sport Education, University of León, León, Spain
  7. 7Unit of Orthopaedic and Sport Surgery, CHU La Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris, France
  8. 8Nollet Institute of Locomotor System, Paris, France
  9. 9Faculty of Sport Science, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France
  10. 10National Track & Field Centre, Sports Injury Clinic, Sports Medicine Clinic of S.E.G.A.S., Thessaloniki, Greece
  11. 11Thessaloniki SPORTS Medicine Clinic, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Elena Pocecco, Department of Sport Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Fürstenweg 185, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria; elenapocecco{at}


Background There is limited knowledge on epidemiological injury data in judo.

Objective To systematically review scientific literature on the frequency and characteristics of injuries in judo.

Methods The available literature up to June 2013 was searched for prospective as well as retrospective studies on injuries in judo. Data extraction and presentation focused on the incidence rate, injury risk, types, location and causes of injuries.

Results During the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012, an average injury risk of about 11–12% has been observed. Sprains, strains and contusions, usually of the knee, shoulder and fingers, were the most frequently reported injuries, whereas being thrown was the most common injury mechanism. Severe injuries were quite rare and usually affected the brain and spine, whereas chronic injuries typically affected the finger joints, lower back and ears. The most common types of injuries in young judo athletes were contusions/abrasions, fractures and sprains/strains. Sex-differences data on judo injuries were mostly inconsistent. Some studies suggested a relationship between nutrition, hydration and/or weight cycling and judo injuries. Also, psychological factors may increase the risk of judo injuries.

Conclusions The present review provides the latest knowledge on the frequency and characteristics of injuries in judo. Comprehensive knowledge about the risk of injury during sport activity and related risk factors represents an essential basis to develop effective strategies for injury prevention. Thus, the introduction of an ongoing injury surveillance system in judo is of utmost importance.

  • Judo
  • Sporting Injuries
  • Injury Prevention
  • Martial Arts

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